NAN: Community Wellness Funding

Press Release

July 23, 2020

In February 2020, at the Chiefs of Ontario SCA a funding formula resolution to distribute the 2020/21 Community Based Prevention (CBP) and Community Wellness and Jurisdiction Initiatives (CWJI) did NOT pass. ORC Archibald wrote a letter to Minister Miller and Minister Hussen, dated February 25, 2020. This letter outlined that a resolution to distribute child welfare funds did not pass at the SCA and urged ISC to approach PTO’s to distribute funding because the OFNLP Formula was inadequate.  ISC presented a funding formula options sheet for NAN and COO to review to distribute the CBP/CWJI funding. ORC’s messaging was reiterated, COO would not be choosing a formula to distribute the funds.

2020/21 CBP and CWJI Funds 

On June 30, 2020 ISC distributed funding letters distributing the 2020/21 allocation of CBP – 15.9 million and CWJI – 22 million, a total of 37.9 million was distributed in Ontario. The funding was allocated using option 5:

    • This option recreates the model used to disburse the Indigenous Community Response Fund (ICRF). Funding would be disbursed in the following manner:
    • 14.44% allocated as an equal based amount for each First Nation;
    • The remaining funding is distributed based on 2016 Census population factored by normalizing the Band Remoteness Index (1+BRI) and normalized inverted Community Well-Being Index (1+1-CWBI)

This funding option was used to distribute the Indigenous Community Support Fund (Covid 19 funding) in March 2020. This funding is a fixed contribution which allows for unspent funds to be carried over into the following fiscal year.

Lists of eligible activities for CBP and CWJI were attached to the email sent out to Chiefs.

Remoteness Index

The Remoteness Index is measured by two parameters: the proximity to all population centres within a given radius that permits accessibility; and the population size of each population center, used as a proxy of service availability.

2016 Community Wellbeing Index (CWB)

The 2016 CWB Index measures socio economic well-being for communities across Canada. It encompasses 4 components: education, labour force activity, income and housing. Lower scores increase funding allocations. 

Comparison to Remoteness Quotient

According to an analysis shared at the Social Services Coordination Unit (“SSCU”), Option 5 resulted in NAN First Nations receiving 41.949% of the fixed pot – which is only slightly less than the 42.64% they would have received if ISC had applied the distribution formula recommended in the Interim RQ Report. This is significantly higher than the 35.82% that would have gone to NAN First Nations had the Casino Rama Formula/OFNLP been used.

The Final RQ report outlines that high remoteness scores and low CWB scores are correlated.


The funding option used to distribute the 2020/21 CBP & CWJI funding begins to recognize the needs of remote First Nations in Ontario. This is a positive decision for NAN communities. NAN will continue to advocate for funding that recognizes the needs of the territory.

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